Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics 45-2013
Despite President Obama's current interest in climate policy, market-based climate policy on the US federal level still appears to be deadlocked. The same is true for Canada, which has aligned its climate policy to the US. However, regional activities are more promising as British Columbia and California have started using market-based approaches recently. Against this background, the paper asks: Can state level market-based climate policy be a sustainable alternative or supplement to federal action? Which of the two programs does better in terms of fulfilling ambitious sustainability criteria? How can the programs be improved? In order to answer these questions, in a comparative fashion, the paper analyzes the design and the results of the British Columbia Carbon Tax and the California Cap-and-Trade Program and evaluates them based on sustainability criteria. By doing so, the paper provides a comparative evaluation of two North American sub-national level market-based climate policy pro-grams, shows the significance and the challenges of such regional initiatives, identifies best-practice design elements, and provides recommendations for regional market-based climate policy design.
Climate Policy Instruments Emissions Trading Carbon Tax USA Canada California British Columbia